You might not think about it often, but the spark plugs on your motorcycle are some of the hardest working parts on your entire vehicle. However, they are also among the smallest components in your system and their importance is therefore often overlooked during basic maintenance.
When replacing your spark plugs, it is always recommended to consult your motorcycle manufacturer or browse through your owner’s manual to help decide what is the best type of spark plug for you.
Luckily, there are many traits that are common to spark plug types and manufacturers, so let’s have a look at some of the best options to help you make the right decision for your bike.
Best Motorcycle Spark Plugs Summary Table
Top Choice: NGK Iridium IX Spark Plug
This high-performance spark plug will keep your machine running at peak performance for longer.
|Best Spark Plugs||Best For||Our Rating|
|1. NGK Iridium IX Spark Plug||Best High Performance Motorcycle Spark Plugs||★★★★★|
|2. NGK Standard Spark Plug||Best Standard Motorcycle Spark Plugs||★★★★|
|3. Acdelco Professional Iridium Spark Plug||Best Value Motorcycle Spark Plugs||★★★|
|4. Pro Bat Orange Spark Plugs||Best Spark Plug For 2 Stroke Dirt Bike||★★★|
|5. E3 Powersports Spark Plug||Best Motorcycle Racing Spark Plugs||★★★★|
Spark Plugs Basics
Spark plugs are a vital component of your motorcycle performance. Spark plugs force high-voltage electricity to ignite the air-fuel mixture that drives the pistons and therefore gives your motorcycle it’s horsepower.
If your spark plugs are worn out you may notice your motorcycle’s performance or ignition system exhibiting abnormal behaviour while riding or your machine may have trouble starting in the first place. Common symptoms of bad spark plugs are for your engine to misfire or experience power loss, or if you experience poor fuel economy while riding.
They come in many shapes and sizes and the best way to ensure the perfect match while you shop is to double check your motorcycle manufacturer recommended specifications. That way, you won’t run into any surprises once you make your purchase and head to the shop or garage to make your replacement.
How Often Should You Change Spark Plugs On A Motorcycle?
Replacing spark plugs should be an essential part of your motorcycle maintenance schedule.
Regularly replacing your spark plugs will enhance the performance of your ignition system, prevent engine damage and ensure your warranty is protected.
How often you must replace your plugs depends on a lot of factors including riding style, type of motorcycle and age of the vehicle. You should always reference your motorcycle handbook or manufacturer specifications to find the optimal schedule.
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How Do I Know If My Motorcycle Spark Plugs Are Bad?
Sometimes, the riding symptoms of a bad plug are subtle and hard to diagnose. Luckily, it is also fairly simple to remove a plug for inspection. There will be visual signs of wear and tear that will be telling cues of deterioration and the need for replacement.
When checking your spark plugs, it is perfectly fine if there is light gray discoloration. However, if your spark plug has black carbon build up, this may be a symptom of an overly-rich fuel mixture. Cracking or exposed plug wiring are bad signs, as are signs of center wire or electrode melting. If you see any of these symptoms in excessive amounts, you should consider picking up a new set of spark plugs.
Do Iridium Spark Plugs Make A Difference?
When choosing the best motorcycle spark plug, you will be faced with the decision to choose between material types such as steel, copper, iridium and platinum. Despite steel being an incredibly strong material, many manufacturers have switched to using exotic materials for the coatings on the spark plugs since they bring strength, density, and anti-corrosive properties to the ignition system.
Iridium is known to be the least corrosive element on the periodic table. But you don’t need to be a chemist to understand that iridium, because of its anti-corrosive properties and because it is a very dense element, makes excellent material for spark plugs.
In many cases, the iridium coating is intended to reduce damage caused by oxidation and extend spark plug life. The exotic materials won’t do much for added performance but they are still highly recommended because of their other beneficial properties.
What Is Better Platinum Or Iridium Spark Plugs?
Each time a spark plug fires, a small amount of material is lost. With exotic materials such as platinum, this deterioration is lessened to a great degree. Platinum plugs are known to outlast the standard materials such as steel and copper by a long shot. When replacing your spark plugs, putting in a set with exotic materials may be the most beneficial depending on your budget.
Iridium plugs are often the best plugs, if you are willing to pay up for the extra quality. This is because iridium is rated up to six times stronger than platinum and has a higher melting point. Some manufacturers of platinum plugs suggest a maintenance schedule of over 100,000 thousand miles (over 160,000 km) before replacing iridium plugs. This will likely far surpass the maintenance schedule outlined by your motorcycle manufacturer, so using an iridium plug may be a great option for you in the long term.
Best Motorcycle Spark Plugs
Top choice of spark plugs for motorcycle riders around the world
1. E3 Powersports Spark Plug
A high-performance spark plug featuring yttrium alloy and suitable for racing or recreational uses.
The E3 Powersports spark plugs are ideal for racing situations. Racing spark plugs are typically rated for “colder” heat ranges, meaning they can handle high temperatures. This is important for racing applications where high performance, and therefore high temperatures, are required which is something to look for in the best dirt bike spark plugs.
These spark plugs boast quicker starts, increased power, and better fuel emissions for both two stroke and four stroke engines. One drawback is that despite being infused with an exotic yttrium alloy, these plugs are still built with common materials such as a copper core. If you are looking for platinum or iridium technology, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
The yttrium alloy nonetheless offers a longer lifespan than other competitors. Even better, this plug also features a limited lifetime warranty so be sure to check out the requirements and take advantage of the warranty once you replace your old spark plugs.
- Colder heat range
- Good for racing
- Advanced electrode technology
- Uses basic materials such as copper
- Some reported inconsistencies with manufacturing
2. Pro Bat Orange Spark Plugs
Unique features and color round out this cost-efficient option for dirt bikes.
These spark plugs are designed for all-terrain and off-road vehicle use. They have a unique design compared to other manufacturers as they feature three electrodes for the spark plug to ignite. Not to mention these spark plugs feature a very fitting orange color.
While not being something you’ll be able to visually see when in use, the color nonetheless adds to the uniqueness of the product which sets it apart from the rest.
Conveniently (and affordably) packaged as a two-pack set, the Pro Bat Orange spark plugs should keep your off-road dirt bike, whether two-stroke or four-stroke, operating efficiently.
For the most part, if you are a looking for a two-stroke specific spark plug, always be sure to check the recommendations of your motorcycle manufacturer as there may be several options available to you. Either way, you can’t go wrong with the Pro Bat Orange spark plugs, although probably not the most reliable spark plugs for high performance racing.
- Good price for a two-pack
- Rated for all-terrain vehicles and two-stroke dirt bikes
- Unpredictable manufacturing quality
3. NGK Iridium IX Spark Plug
This high-performance spark plug will keep your machine running at peak performance for longer. These spark plugs are also the our best recommended spark plugs for Harley Sporters.
If expense is no option and you need a spark plug to suit your high-revving and high performance lifestyle, then the NGK Iridium IX Spark Plug should be a good match for you.
This spark plug is iridium-tipped which gives it anti-corrosion properties. It is suited to last a very long time and under extreme conditions as the iridium is set to withstand extremely high heat.
This plug should last thousands of miles longer than the average competitor. The manufacturer, NGK, claims this spark plug was designed specifically for performance enthusiasts in mind. One of the unique features is the long insulator nose which prevents fouling of the plug tip, which should prevent engine misfires and deterioration over the long-term making this the best NGK motorcycle spark plug.
- Iridium alloy
- High-heat durability
- More expensive than a standard spark plug
4. NGK Standard Spark Plug
Sometimes a basic spark plug is all you need. For affordability, look no further.
If keeping your machine on the road at the cheapest price is important to you, then you should consider the NGK Standard Spark Plug. Unapologetically simple, this “standard” plug is made with basic materials and therefore features a copper core and the shell is dipped in zinc.
Neither of these materials will tote as much durability or anti-corrosive properties as either platinum or iridium plugs, but there is nonetheless a time and place for picking the best value motorcycle spark plugs.
If you plan to ride at a leisurely and gentle level, then these plugs may be a good option. What you’ll lose in modern technology and materials, you’ll gain back in value. Just be sure to follow a proper maintenance schedule and watch out for wear and tear, since these standard plugs won’t be as sophisticated as other options on the market.
- Affordable Price
- NGK-quality with longer insulator nose to prevent fouling
- No high-quality materials
- Won’t last as long as other plugs
5. Acdelco Professional Iridium Spark Plug
A cost-effective option, this spark plug gives you all the benefits of iridium coating without having to break the bank.
If you are looking for a great all-around spark plug for your motorcycle, then the AC Delco Professional Iridium Spark Plug may be for you. Despite being advertised for common General Motors (GM) vehicles, this spark plug comes in sizes that are appropriate for motorcycle usage.
One drawback is that you’ll have to make sure you study your motorcycle’s recommended specifications to make sure the AC Delco Professional Iridium spark plug fits your machine properly.
The iridium coating will offer smooth and long-lasting performance with an electrode that should last for many thousands of kilometres. Whichever way you slice it, the Iridium coating featured on this plug, considering the price point, is a spectacular value making these some of the best high performance motorcycle spark plugs.
- Iridium durability and longevity
- Confusing labelling standards
The Best Motorcycle Spark Plugs
As far as spark plugs are concerned, so long as you match the right dimensions and type as recommended by your motorcycle’s manufacturer, you should be pleased with the results. However, considering that the price points of various spark plugs are similar, why not go for the highest quality?
For the highest quality, the NGK Iridium IX Spark Plug will be your best bet. The durability, manufacturing quality, laser-welded iridium alloy and anti-corrosion properties will help your spark plug last longer than the competitors.
While this spark plug is on the high-end of price points, the quality more than makes up for it as you shouldn’t need to replace the plugs as often as other types that are manufactured with more common materials like copper or zinc.